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Let me make one thing clear about this right from the start: Thy Art Is Murder have not abandoned the style of The Adversary in favor of copying Emmure, as some would have you believe. Hate does not solely consist of chugging, neither does it include any of the new-metal antics that have made Emmure famous.
While Thy Art Is Murder started out as somewhat of a Suicide Silence ripoff and were only able to emancipate themselves with the more tech-death approach of The Adversary, Hate arguably sees them partly returning to their roots - yet this is not actually fully owed to the songwriting, but rather to the overall production of the album. The technical death-metal riffing is severely overshadowed not only by the very frequent use of breakdowns, but also by the extremely loud drums. The sounds of the snare drum in particular would fit some moshcore band a lot better than Thy Art Is Murder's brand of technical deathcore.
Yet the overtly modern production is not the only huge difference between Hate and its predecessor. Where The Adversary was strongly focused on memorable guitar riffs as hooks, Hate is focused on memorable vocal patterns as choruses. This goes hand in hand with most of the choruses focusing on groove rather than strong riffing, which is a trait common among many deathcore bands. Breakdowns are used as choruses and vice versa. While not necessarily a bad thing, this approach has Thy Art Is Murder's music lose some of the edge it had on The Adversary. The songwriting on Hate always leads to the breakdown/chorus and as such is a lot more tightly arranged, which may be the factor why the music seems to lack in ferocity.
Still, Hate is not a bad album. Yes, it is at least slightly reminiscent of a dumbed down version of The Adversary. But on the other hand, it is a very potent album when it comes to simply venting anger and frustration, meaning that it was very much written for a live environment. Songs such as "The Purest Strain of Hate", "Reign of Darkness" and "Defective Breed" are focused on functioning during live shows, meaning that the "extra baggage" that its predecessor featured with its immense amount of technical riffing simply would not do in this case. While The Adversary was the more interesting and versatile album, Hate still measures up to its title and does it more than satisfactorily.
This album lacks the intense songwriting, technicality and brutality of their previous album The Adversary. It holds a far more atmospheric quality with a crushing guitar tone and booming drums. The vocals have made a significant improvement over The Adversary, having blood curdling highs and brutal screams. The songwriting on this album is so bad it's sad, every song has the exact same structure and the lyrics are all used in the same format. Speaking of lyrics this album has some okay lyrics, nothing deep or meaningful but they're solid and don't seem as try hard as their last album.
The guitar riffs and solos have lost a lot of their technicality and brutality, but in turn the guitar tone is brilliant. The bass guitar, oh sorry I mean "What bass guitar?" Yet again Thy Art Is Murder has completely forgotten the bass guitar and mixed it out, is it just me or is this the trend for all the latest Core bands?
The vocals are the best factor on this album, 'The Purest Strain Of Hate' has a brilliant vocal hook that gets you pumped. Most of the songs aren't very memorable but there are a few hooks that stay with you. People should look up to TAIM's vocalist due to him being one of the best new vocalists out there, especially seeing as he doesn't use the generic Deathcore vocals and has an awesome array of roars, screams and growls.
The drumming is fast and brutal, but it doesn't have any semblance of technicality like on The Adversary, the drumming holds the album together and has a very powerful and well produced sound.
This album has some incredible production and mixing, which makes it sound brutal, cataclysmic and atmospheric. But this album fails TAIM as a Technical Deathcore band, the album is just straight up close to generic Deathcore, unlike their previous album.
From a subjective standpoint I like this album far more than The Adversary, but if you look at it subjectively the redeeming qualities of the album do not compete with the shear technicality of The Adversary.
Australian technical deathcore band Thy Art is Murder achieved renowned success with their debut full-length album, The Adversary, in 2010 after having a troublesome start to their career in 2005. The band did away with their original vocalist who was replaced by Chris McMahon for their debut effort, and this time around guitarist Gary Markowski has found himself terminated from the group. Bassist Mick Low also quit the band in 2010 and upon doing so Sean Delander took over bass duties, to which he passed off his guitarist placement, along with Markowski's open spot, to newcomers Tom Brown and Andy Marsh. With a rearranged line-up that includes two founding members, two new additions and one vocalist who lands in the middle of it all, what is the ultimate outcome of Thy Art is Murder's second full-length, Hate?
To be completely honest, the album artwork is what drew me initially to this release. It is one of the greatest pieces of artwork I've come across on recent releases and being an artist myself, I fully appreciate the amount of detail and atmosphere that is present in it. In this case, the artwork really helps to depict the storytelling in the lyrics presented on Hate, especially in the track "Infinite Forms" which paints the picture of this abominable and ever-changing, growing demon that coats the world in fire, destruction and disease. However, that being said, from start to finish the formula on this material is a direct copy and paste project from The Adversary (reviewed here) with minor changes included.
It can be said that the line-up changes within Thy Art is Murder have had little to no effect in changing up their style. If you've heard The Adversary, then you've heard pretty much everything that Hate encompasses. The guitars stick to polyrhythmic double and triplet palm muted riffs that make use of variously timed rests between strums, along with technical melodic solos that are spaced throughout the content; however, the solos are fewer and further between in comparison to the amount that were present on the band's debut full-length. A new addition to the guitar compositions is the use of foreboding, dissonant picking that lines the background, generally at the beginning, of tracks such as "Reign of Darkness", "Vile Creations", "Shadow of Eternal Sin" and "Infinite Forms". The drums this time around are less effective, the group did away with the inhumanly triggered double bass kicks and this, coupled with the all around slower pace of the guitar tempos, causes the album to come off apathetic and empty at times. There are a plethora of very skilled and fluid drum rolls that make their way into the mix, which switch things up now and then, but not enough to cause a substantial difference. The vocals have a lot of stand alone segments where they're backed by nothing but a drum hit here and there, usually a low cymbal crash, which reinforces the hollowness of the tracks. Vocally there is a regression within the content, instead of a large range of low, near-guttural bellows the listener is now met with standard death metal growls that find themselves occasionally backed by high shrills. "Dead Sun" and "Doomed from Birth" each have a guest vocalist, Nico Webers and Joel Birch respectively, who contributes metalcore styled near-clean screams that don't do any favors for the album. Due to the tamer song structures of Hate, the breakdowns that are presented feel unnecessary and ineffective in the long run where as they were the highlight of the band's debut full-length.
It genuinely feels as though Thy Art is Murder have regressed with Hate. The blueprint for this album is taken directly from The Adversary; even the ending track, "Doomed from Birth", is the most melodic song within the material much the same as "Cowards Throne" was for their previous effort. Not much varies from song to song, and the content begins to become predictable even within the few new elements that are incorporated. However, this isn't to say that Hate is a bad album. It's groovier, slightly less technical and overall more melodic than the band's initial release, but it does come off with a heavily recycled feel to it. Recommended for existing fans of Thy Art is Murder, those that enjoyed The Adversary will enjoy Hate, but most likely not as much due to the lackluster drumming, dip in vocals and reused guitar structures.
- Villi Thorne
I have no idea what the fuck deathcore has been doing with itself for the past two or three years, I seriously don't. It's like trve metal-worshiping gnomes are infiltrating deathcore bands everywhere and scrambling the minds of their songwriters so that their subsequent musical output will sound like total SHIT. It's baffling: within two years' time, from 2011 to 2012, we get not one, not two, but no less than four famous deathcore bands ripping up their nice little formulas before gluing them all back together with nu-metal and modern hardcore mixed in between. For exactly one of these bands (Suicide Silence) this did not end in shambles, and even then it substantially weakened them in comparison to their pure deathcore works. Thy Art Is Murder is one of the other three.
I'm honestly not entirely sure who actually wanted to hear Hate since it's weaker in practically every aspect imaginable. Well, no: the production is a lot heavier all-around compared to The Adversary, with the guitar tone in particular being particularly vicious, loud, bassy and well-defined. The vocals have a lot more impact as well, being louder and more clearly defined in the mix. Even the drums feel a bit more prominent, though they're a bit buried by the absolutely massive guitars.
These would all be good things if the guitars, vocals, and drums used their newly-found heaviness and clarity to improve upon the formula laid down with The Adversary, but they don't and IT SUCKS. In a word, Hate is stupid - nauseatingly, unequivocally, and irredeemably stupid. The material here is essentially The Adversary with a breakdown-to-riff ratio of, say, 3:1 instead of that album's 2:3, which would be nice if TAIM's breakdowns didn't have a record of being horribly boring and interchangeable amongst themselves (especially in terms of melodies - holy shit, TAIM, did you know you can integrate melodies into your breakdowns? Really, it's quite possible, ask Waking the Cadaver!). These are breakdowns that don't really go anywhere at all, the kind that bands use when they're stuck musically (you can just sort of listen to them and get the feeling that they're not going anywhere); but the album is chock-full of them, as if the band just made a handful of riffs and padded them out with breakdowns, then called it a full-length album. Even when TAIM aren't in breakdown mode, they still primarily chug, sounding like a crappy Emmure knockoff mixed with boring mid-paced, rocking hardcore beats, and little hints of technicality that have more-or-less always been a part of Thy Art Is Murder's sound. The band can occasionally muster enough of a metal hard-on to play a blast beat for ten or twenty seconds at a time, but even these riffs, which were stellar on The Adversary, sound dumbed down with poorly-integrated nu-influence here, being based less around technical death metal and more around watered-down Pantera grooves mixed with deathcore chugs and stereotypical weedly bits; and the neutered end result is just as annoying as the breakdowns which are littered around the album's length.
None of these elements are helped by the vaguely djent-influenced "atmospheric" leads which like to wash over the guitars indiscriminately in an attempt to make the music come across as a lot less retarded and simple than it actually is. They're not beautiful, they're not particularly melodic, and they sound like they were added with the reasoning "if we have low notes, but then have high notes playing at the same time, we'll sound 'epic' and 'majestic'!" Well, at least you kind of realised that that was a concept, TAIM, so good on you; but what you did here was more-or-less equivalent to those 400-pound landwhales who try to burn off their six daily Big Macs by running a quarter-mile every week, and exclaiming with satisfaction as they dig into a bonus seventh burger as a reward for a job well done: "Welp, that's taken care of! I'll be skinny in no time!" If you refuse to put effort into these sorts of things, it's really best just to go without them, not leave them sitting there, half-assed and poorly-constructed.
The vocals haven't suffered as much of a vertical drop in quality, but they're definitely on the way out. The growls here aren't as deep as they were on The Adversary but still manage to sound withered and bored even with the lost depth in account, and the screams (which also sound a lot more tired and hoarse) are almost entirely eradicated except for a handful of uses where they're layered on top of the growls. (This album doesn't use as much double-tracking as its predecessor, but considering how the vocals sound, would you really want it to?) Hate also sees the addition of some absolutely atrocious yelping hardcore shouts to Thy Art is Murder's music, which sound equally tired and bored in addition to embodying the annoyingly try-hard tough guy sound that most hardcore shouts intrinsically exhibit. The band seem to be convinced that half of all the breakdowns (particularly ones that were judged to be extra-br00tal) need to be introduced by an effect-laden vocal-only section in the music. This is the sort of thing I usually deem to be tolerable about once in a deathcore album; Thy Art Is Murder probably do it over ten times on this album and each time it's used, it just gets harder and harder for me to resist just shitting on the rug in frustration like a distressed dog.
This has a couple moments to its name - "Defective Breed" has a couple uses of a Portal-like black metal riff that makes some fine use of subtle dissonance; "The Purest Strain of Hate" has a cool, stop-starting, oddly melodic chuggy section that sounds like something Immolation could come up with on one of their better days; "Shadow of Eternal Sin" features just about the only section where the "atmospheric" nonsense makes a decent melody, instead of stupid amelodic whining on the higher strings; and the solos seem to have still retained some semblances of quality - but you've gotta be shitting me if you want me to dig through a bunch of banal, shitty breakdowns, nu-metal riffs backed up with generic weedly sweeps, and hardcore shouts to hear a Portal riff when I could just fucking listen to Portal. There is no logical explanation for Hate except for the possibility that Thy Art Is Murder simply got tired of not sucking balls, and took their next studio session to fully indulge in the practice of ball-sucking. This is unbelievably stupid, and if you give the band money to hear it, then you are exhibiting one of the most damning symptoms of mental retardation. Don't be a retard.
So here we have the new album by Thy Art Is Murder, titled simply "Hate". I was a huge fan of their debut album, "The Adversary". It's my favourite deathcore album and maybe even one of my favourite albums full stop. The natural reaction when I hear a band who made a record I loved that much is making another is to get very excited. Very, very excited. Unfortunately my expectations haven't been met, to say the least.
Okay so the solo work is fucking awesome as expected. Songs like Reign of Darkness, Shadow of Eternal Sin and Immolation have multiple wonderful solos in them, but almost everything else on this record is so generic. Generic chuggy breakdowns, generic wigger shout vocals, generic drumwork. This is a great problem because everything on The Adversary was the exact opposite. The riffs were razor sharp and very technical, the vocals were guttural and enjoyable, the drums were insanely fast and the breakdowns were few, and even when you did hear a breakdown on that album it was fitted into the song structure perfectly.
However, I can't say it's all bad. Like i've already said the leads are incredible. Dead Sun is a reasonably enjoyable track, becoming quite melodic in the last two minutes and even having some almost clean vocals coming in and Shadow of Eternal Sin has some very heavy thrash-like riffs.
Nevertheless, it's still a major disappointment. This album sounds unsurprisingly like Whitechapel's latest which was also very disappointing. Even TAIM's dreaded EP "Infinite Death" had a higher breakdown to riff ratio, and that's saying something because that 5 song EP was stuffed with chugs. Maybe diehard fans of the band and deathcore in general will like this, yet fans that liked The Adversary because it was so much more on the tech death metal side of deathcore than the hardcore side (like me) will probably not get much enjoyment out of this. Dead Sun is probably the only worthwhile song on here, maybe Immolation too.